Jerusalem is built on a small plateau. When pilgrims used to make the sacred journey to the city to celebrate the festivals, they would sing, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go up to the house of the Lord’” (Psalm 122). Now it wasn’t like climbing a mountain; still there was the feeling of going up.
Jesus feels something like this. He keeps his eyes on Jerusalem for he would go up there, and then go further up on Mount Calvary to be even lifted further up on the cross.
There is another meaning to “going up” that Jesus has in mind: to go back up to heaven. All kinds of feelings of “going up” are felt in this passage. What keeps all these feelings together are Jesus’s eyes straight ahead of him on his way to Jerusalem. Jesus would offer himself there.
From verse 57 you will read about the price that one has to pay for following Jesus. Eyes any place else but on Jesus and following him will lessen the joy that God wants you to have in your life. One day you will be lifted up to be with Jesus and all the saints in heaven forever.
On Sundays we follow the Gospels from the Revised Common Lectionary.
These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook. You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.